Joe McKeehen wins $550,990 in Seminole Hard Rock High Roller event

Dave Consolazio Poker Writer Photo
Dave Consolazio
Posted on: August 11, 2021 12:46 PDT

Joe McKeehen is best known by casual poker fans for being the winner of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. Serious poker fans know that McKeehen has continued to crush poker tournaments at the highest levels in the years to follow. McKeehen picked up yet another high-profile win on Tuesday night when he won the $25,500 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The event drew 91 entries to clear it’s $2 million guarantee with a total prize pool of $2,247,700. The star-studded final table included David Peters (who finished in fifth place for $128,120) and Joseph Cheong (who finished in sixth place for $96,650). In the end, McKeehen found himself heads up with Darren Elias after McKeehen eliminated Thomas Bolvin ($285,460) in third place.

Elias had a slight chip lead of 4,870,000 to McKeehen’s 4,230,000 entering heads up play, but the two players decided to work out a deal instead of continuing heads-up. Both players agreed to take $539,135 and then flip for the remaining $11,855 and the trophy. McKeehen’s nine-four defeated Elias’s jack-two for most of the chips in play on the first flip as McKeehen made a straight on the river, and the second flip sealed the victory for McKeehen when his jack-three held up over Elias’s five-three.

Joe McKeehen moves in to the top 20 on the all-time USA money list

With the addition of Tuesday’s $550,990, Joseph McKeehen’s Hendon Mob page now shows that the Pennsylvania native has earned $18,234,454 in recorded live earnings. This puts him in 20th place all-time in career earnings among players born in the United States. Phil Hellmuth Jr., who sits in 14th place with $24,915,184, is the only other WSOP Main Event winner in the top 20.

McKeehen’s remarkable career includes 24 tournament wins and three World Series of poker bracelets, highlighted by the $7,683,346 score he earned with his Main Event victory in 2015. Tuesday’s $550,990 cash was the sixth cash of over half a million dollars on McKeehen’s resume.

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open High Roller victory was McKeehen’s third tournament win in 2021; he also won the $10,500 Wynn Spring Classic for $224,100 in March and the PokerGo Tour $10,000 U.S. Poker Open #3 for $200,000 in June. The 1,088.46 Global Poker Index points that McKeehen has earned in those three wins have catapulted him into first place in the 2021 GPI rankings.

At just 30-years-old, McKeehen’s poker career is still only getting started. The 2015 champion should already be in the conversation as to who is the best tournament poker player in the world today, and he will only continue to cement his spot in that conversation as he keeps racking up the wins.

Featured Image Credit: Flickr - World Poker Tour